Despite a few lean years for Bruce Willis he is still an actor who pumps out plenty of films and on occasion, some quality releases. Looper - released in late 2012 is a film which seemed to pass many by pretty quietly (although it took a very respectable $US166 million at the box office worldwide). The film is now available on Blu-Ray and, as a fan of Bruce Willis, we were keen to check the film out.
Looper is an interesting tale that involves two time periods, time travel and plenty of action. In 2072 time travel has been invented, but outlawed by governments meaning the only people using it are those in the black market and one of the biggest customers is the mob who send people back in time when they want to "solve a problem". In 2044 a "looper", or hired gun, will be waiting to execute those sent back. One such looper is Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) but when the mob decides to "close the loop" - they send back Joe's future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination with a golden payday. But can young Joe "close the loop"? If he doesn't he is committing the ultimate sin in the business.
As any admirer of film would know time travel movies can often be a mess often throwing up more questions than answers - even Austin Powers managed to quip about the complexity of time travel before giving up and telling the audience to just enjoy the ride - but Looper handles time travel as well as any other film we have ever seen. There are also some moments of violence in the film - often somewhat excessively - but that's why the film is rated MA15+ here in Australia.
Fortunately acting across the board is superb too with Jeff Daniels as Abe, Emily Blunt as Sara and Paul Dano as fellow looper Seth. All the actors portray unique and interesting characters who you just can't take your eyes off. Without doubt though this film is carried by Bruce Willis who is, well, Bruce Willis, but more importantly Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been given makeup to look like Bruce, but more importantly has got Bruce's mannerism's down pat - from the gruff voice, to that certain look he gives people. The similarities, at times, are uncanny.
Audio Commentary: This audio commentary features writer/director Rian Johnson, and actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt with the latter jumping into the commentary about 8 minutes in. It's quite a lively commentary which is continuous, has some great stories about the production, details more of the story and has more laughs along the way.
Animated Trailer (1:33/HD): This is a very cool animated trailer for the film which is definitely worth a look. Can see why it wouldn't be used to sell the film - its too abstract, but gorgeous.
Deleted Scenes (38:22/HD): Playable with or without directors commentary there is an extensive number of deleted scenes presented here. Some of them are just filler and justifiably cut, however many of these scenes could have been re-inserted for an extended version (although at almost 2 hours it's already an decent length film. Unfortunately the scenes aren't splt into seperate chapters so you can't skip them and while the video quality is superb, the audio is only 2-channel Dolby Digital. Scenes include "Abe Gathers The Troops", "Canady and Kid Blue", "China Sequence Original Cut", "Club Entrance Original Cut", "Evening Lessons", "Gat in a Steel Box", "It's Not Joe", "Jesse Searches The Laundry", "Kid Blue Boy Detective". "Kid Blue Escapes", "Kid Blue Sees Joe Rejected", "Meet Daniel", "Old Joe Can't Stop", "Old Joe Confronts Suzie", "Old Seth Original Cut", "Outside The Belle & Cruising The Streets", "Pawn Shop and Belle Revisited", "Sara Decides Not To Dump Joe", "Sara Walks To The Field", "Sneaking Into The Belle", "Straws and Salt", and "Suzie Never Wants To See Joe Again".
The Scoring Of Looper (16:12/HD): Composer Nathan Johnson walks us through the process he went through to create the music for the film. Quite interesting and deserving attention to an often overlooked area of filmmaking (in terms of content on Blu-Rays).
Review By: Dave Warner